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7 Smart Snack Tips

There are seven weeks left in our Swap Your Snack Countdown, and this week we’re talking about healthy options for all the times we find ourselves snacking.

Last fall the USDA released the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students during the school day in vending machines, school stores, snack carts and a la carte lines, as well as through fundraising.

These standards go into effect July 1, 2014 and apply to most schools around the country. Since schools are giving snacks an upgrade, we thought it was a good time to look at what we consume outside of school as well. 

Here are seven tips for swapping your snacks this spring!

1. Focus on the Five
Remember, it is recommended that you get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and a snack break should help you meet that goal!

2. Go Nuts for Nuts
A handful of mixed nuts will give you energy and heart-healthy fiber.

3. You Want a Rush, not a Crash
Think about what foods are going to give you energy to keep going and to hold you over until the next meal. A sugary snack may taste good, but it will leave you feeling hungry again shortly after eating it.

4. Read the Food Label
Don’t rely on the claims on the front of the box. Dig a little deeper into the nutrition facts to assess fat, sugars and sodium amounts and the ingredient statement to look for added sugars and trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).

5. Keep Your Eye on It
If your fruit and veggies are stored in an attractive bowl and you can see them, or if they are convenient to eat because you have already washed and cut them, you will be much more likely to choose them when hunger hits. Wash and chop produce when you get home from the store and portion out in snack baggies for a grab-and-go snack. Put baggies at eye level so children see them when they open the refrigerator. 

6. Plan It
If you have planned what your daily snacks will be, in addition to your meals, you will be more likely to stick to your plan and can fight against last-minute cravings. Also, by planning your snacks and meals and shopping from a list you create from that plan, you save not only calories but dollars at the store. 

7. Jazz Up Your Water
Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, orange or grapefruit slices, frozen berries or sprig of mint to add natural flavor to your H20.

Get All Our Tips and Tools to Swap Your Snack


Tweetables

Help us spread the word on school success and tools for schools to use for new Smart Snacks standards. Below are premade tweets you can copy, paste and share from your Twitter account.

Happy, healthy tweeting!

  • Snack healthily all day long. Here are 7 tips from @HealthierGen to #SwapYourSnack: http://bit.ly/1gPmn7e
  • There are 7 weeks left in the #SwapYourSnack Countdown, and @HealthierGen is looking at how we snack throughout the day: http://bit.ly/1gPmn7e 
  • Join @HealthierGen for the #SwapYourSnack Countdown to get ready for new #SmartSnacks in schools standards. http://bit.ly/1iyBwFy
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